Russia will halt all flights with Britain from midnight Tuesday, joining the growing list of countries to suspend air travel with the country amid concerns of a more-infectious coronavirus strain found there.
Nearly 30 other countries have banned travel to and from Britain due to the mutation. Russia's travel ban will last for one week, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.
Russian health officials and experts have downplayed concerns about the mutated strain found in Britain, saying it is no deadlier than the original version and that coronavirus vaccines will still be effective at preventing it.
Britain announced a strict lockdown in several parts of the country just ahead of the Christmas holiday after the mutation, which is up to 70% more infectious than previous variants, was found to be spreading quickly throughout London as well as southeast and eastern England.
The World Health Organization has said that the mutation has also been spotted in the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia.